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Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP1989-19 or SIPP-WP-107
Alden Speare, Jr., Roger Avery and Frances Goldschieder
Component ID: #ti72660039


This project had three specific aims: (1) the construction of an individual level file of young adults and their household changes; (2) The use of these data to study nestleaving, including the calculation of rates by age, sex, race, education, .work status and income; (3) The investigation of the extent of reentry of children into their parents' households and the variables related to reentry.

The problem of studying household change was approached from the perspective of the individual household members. Measures of household change were calculated for individuals aged 15 to 29 by age, sex and other variables. An initial comparison of measures based on four month and one year intervals showed that the one year measures significantly undercounted the number of changes experienced by young adults and thus most of the analysis was based on four month intervals. The effect of sample attrition over time in the panel was addressed by using information from any relevant follow-up interview regardless of whether the person was interviewed in all relevant waves. Rates of change in household size, changes in living with parents and changes in living with spouse were than computed by age and sex.

Because the SIPP reinterviewed persons every four months over an average period of two and one half years and obtained data on household composition for each month, it is possible to observe short duration changes in households which are not observed when longer follow-up periods are used. Returning to the nest is shown to be much more likely during the first year away, and such returns are missed if measures are based only on annual observations. Rates of nest leaving and returning based on four-month intervals are calculated by age and sex and various household characteristics.

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